Did the recent local gas crunch make you think a little about some things? Like…Was this just a ploy to raise prices again? Or…Why did everyone panic when the news media said “don’t panic”. Perhaps it was…If that joker does not fill up and get his 93 Buick out of my way I’m going to run him over! Really, what it probably should have been was how do I make my vehicle more fuel efficient so I do not have to be as concerned with giving the gas companies so much of my hard earned money.

Let’s start with a few basics. Routine maintenance is probably the biggest thing you can do to help with better fuel mileage. Some folks these days do not think anything about maintaining their transportation. Maintenance normally does provide that “warm fuzzy” most like when they lay out some cash. That’s because there is usually not an instantaneous sensation when you do engine maintenance. Some may think that is not important because, hey, my car starts up and gets me there so why do I need to do anything to it. Maintaining your vehicle is designed to ensure your vehicle performs like it’s supposed to and the last time I checked…that is important!

Consider your car an athlete and the maintenance is it’s training. Can any athlete perform well consistently if he does not practice and take care of the body? So here is some simple training for fuel economy. Keeping your fuel system clean is very important. Keeping the dirt and carbon buildup out of your fuel system allows it to be more efficient. Gasoline prices are high, but the overall quality of the fuel is low. Ethanol has watered it down even more. A company called BG makes some outstanding products (sold at DR. Automotive) to combat a dirty fuel system. Cleaning the fuel injectors, Intake and exhaust valves, throttle body, and induction system will always help. Changing spark plugs is also something that can help. Most modern vehicles use platinum plugs that have a normal life of 60,000 to 100,000 miles. You do not have to replace them before they are due, but squeezing them can hurt fuel efficiency. Replacing the air filter and cleaning the air flow meter are also good maintenance practices as well to increase fuel economy.

Yes, it does cost money to do these things but think about the well being of your athlete. So think maintenance and spend a little now to keep more money in your pocket for the long haul.